MSD, DCSD agree to tax refund plan

In an almost four-hour meeting that included two expulsion hearings Monday night, the Monticello School District School Board put their stamp of approval on an agreement with the Drew Central School District to refund $339,856.18 in misplaced ad valorem tax revenue to DCSD.
The problem arose when the Drew County tax assessor erroneously assigned the revenue collected from the real estate and personal property tax of Hood Packaging Corporation, 1829 Arkansas Highway 35 South, as though it was located 100 percent within MSD boundaries between the years of 2007 and 2015. In actuality, Hood Packaging is situated on Drew County real estate parcel Nos. 703-03146-000-C and 703-03148-00-C, which lies within the school boundaries of DCSD, according to a copy of the agreement on which the MSD board voted Monday.
“This was completely an oversight,” MSD Superintendent Sandra Lanehart said. “We have a good working relationship with Drew Central and worked with them to correct this matter. It was not the fault of either school district.”
The DCSD board had previously approved this agreement. The school districts agreed:
• That MSD refund DCSD the ad valorem tax revenue due DCSD from the assignment error of the Drew County Tax Assessor for calendar years 2007-2015 at the personal property ratio rate previously approved by both school boards (92 percent DCSD and 8 percent MSD) and certified by the Arkansas Department of Education Division of Fiscal and Administrative Services, and
• That MSD and DCSD Board of Directors accept and approve the repayment agreement of six installments annually beginning on or before Nov. 15 and ending on or before Nov. 15, 2023. Five equal installments of $56,642.69 will be made in years 2018-2022. The final installment of $56,642.73 will be paid on or before Nov. 15, 2023.
In other business, the board unanimously (four members were present; Board Vice President Keith Wells was the lone absentee) approved:
• The purchase of a security network video recorder for Monticello Middle School and Monticello Intermediate School;
• The purchase of a new heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit for the MMS cafeteria;
• The changes to policy updates presented by Lanehart,
The board also accepted the resignation of Cheyenne Wood, an MIS teacher; approved new hires Debra Ingrim, City Park Paraprofessional, on a 178-day contract and Maribel Escamilla Ressendiz, ELL Paraprofessional, though May only; and reassigned Monica Simms, a seventh-grade science teacher, and Amy Johnston, a Monticello High School secretary.
The board also set its next meeting for 6 p.m. on March 27 at the Central Office and noted this year’s spring break will be March 19-23.

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